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Published On:July 21, 2018
Posted by Staff Report

PNG Gov't clears air on Bougainville funds

The Papua New Guinea  Government has refuted claims that a cheque has bounced after it was presented to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG). According to Radio New Zealand, a cheque for US$1.49 million was given to Bougainville by the national Government, the money was part of an initial installment of hundreds of millions of kina that Bougainville says the national government is constitutionally obliged to pay.

Treasury Minister Charles Abel refuted claims that a cheque amounting to about K1.3 billion had bounced.

It was raised on the floor of parliament by MP for Maprik John Simon who queried why the cheque had bounced and raised a series of questions on whether the amount of K1.3 billion had been presented and whether or not the cheque had been dishonored as expressed on social media.

Mr Abel however, expressed disappointment that they on the floor of parliament were responding to questions by sources unknown or sources relating to social media he said.

“I am not aware of where it has come from the only source I am aware of is social media allegedly,’

“As I answer the question, there is a strict process in place now, as you know several years ago we were having instances of government cheques bouncing.

“Government has now instituted a series of measures to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”

Mr Abel said there is a debt management committee that sits and manages all the cash flow that is available to government in the Waigani public accounts.

According to Radio New Zealand late yesterday, the cheque in question had now been cleared, quoting PNG media.

But Loop PNG reported Prime Minister Peter O’Neill saying to avoid fraud the cheque required a covering letter from the Secretary of Finance before it could be cleared, and that Bougainville would have known this was the case.

Mr O’Neill was reported to have called an earlier RNZ Pacific story “fake news” but it was from information directly from AGB President John Momis.

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